The Role of Genetics in Alcohol and Drug Dependence: Addiction Recovery Austin Tx

Addiction Recovery Austin Tx is a good place to start your recovery journey. It is important to understand that addiction may have a genetic component affects your risk of addiction, and growing up in a home where substance abuse is prevalent also makes you more susceptible to the disease. However, your family background shouldn’t mean that you’re doomed to spend your life battling the condition. This article examines the role of genetics in the development of addiction and discusses how to break the cycle.

Many diseases run in families, and addiction is one of these conditions. It’s not unusual to see three or more generations ravaged by the disease. If you have family members who struggle with substance abuse, there’s a greater chance that you may be at a greater risk of addiction and develop similar problems with alcohol or drugs.

Risk of Addiction Across Generations

Generational addiction is more common than you might realize. According to one study, about 80 million Americans either has a spouse with alcoholism, a family member with alcoholism, or grew up with alcoholic parents.1

Research consistently shows that children who have at least one parent with a substance use disorder are four times more likely to develop a substance abuse problem themselves. These children might feel shame or embarrassment about their situation, and they’re often reluctant to seek help. Without some type of intervention to stop the cycle, it’s no surprise that addiction often spans multiple generations in a family.

The Role of Genetics

Genetics play an important role in the development of drug or alcohol addiction; in fact, research shows that about 40 to 60 percent of an individual’s susceptibility to addiction is related to hereditary factors.2 Although a person’s genetic makeup can certainly increase the risk of addiction, environmental factors also play a part. Growing up in a household where substance abuse was occurring can influence your attitude toward drugs or alcohol, and an unstable childhood environment can also increase your risk for addiction.3

Breaking the Cycle

Addiction may have a strong hereditary link, but it doesn’t have to be your destiny. If you believe you may have a genetic propensity toward addiction, it may be wise to avoid using these substance in any amount. For people who may already be struggling with substance abuse, treatment can help you break free of addiction and turn your life around. In rehab, you’ll learn about the nature of addiction, and you’ll explore the influence your family background had on your substance use disorder.

Both genetic and environmental factors fuel the cycle of addiction in families; if you have a parent or other close family member with a substance abuse problem, your risk of addiction may be higher. However, you don’t need to become another statistic. With the right treatment, you can overcome your family history and break the cycle of addiction.

Addiction Recovery Austin Tx

If you’re looking for an Addiction Recovery Austin Tx center, Nova Recovery Center is the right place for you. Located only a few miles from downtown Austin, Texas, Nova has an inpatient and outpatient treatment programs designed for the individual. Our licensed clinical services are customizable and can be combined with peer recovery support services (PRSS) to maximize the success for long term recovery.

Call 855.834.6682 to speak to an admissions representative today.



Sober Fun: How to Socialize Sober

Social functions are times to relax, enjoy friends and family and have fun. If you’re someone in addiction recovery, staying sober during these occasions may feel like a cloud hanging over the experience. There are ways to have sober fun at social functions, and this article outlines a few tips and tricks to have a good time without endangering your sobriety.

Plan for Sober Fun

Make a plan that will reinforce your resolve to attend the party sober. Decide how you’ll get to the party, how you’ll answer any questions about not drinking and how you plan to get home. Have an exit plan strategy for how you’ll get home if you decide you want to leave the party early. By having a plan for your sober fun in place before you go, it will help you deal with any questions and enable you to exit early if the temptation to lapse becomes too strong.

Be Prepared to Answer Questions

When you’re at a party and aren’t drinking alcohol, the inevitable question will arise, “Why aren’t you drinking?” Rather than wait for the question to be posed and then scrambling for an answer, be prepared to answer confidently.

If you want to keep your recovery journey to yourself, then the key is to keep your answer short and to the point to avoid having to divulge details about your private life. Two good answers would be:

“I am going with a (non-alcoholic drink of choice) tonight. I have a busy day tomorrow.”

“I am not in the mood to drink tonight. Thanks.”

Don’t be offended if people question your non-alcohol choice. Research shows people tend to classify things in order to make sense of the world.1

We come up with behaviors and rules for interaction. When someone who drinks sees another who isn’t, it upsets the “rules.” Take the questions in stride. Don’t let them throw you off your game or interfere with your plan to have fun while staying sober.

Keep Busy: Work the Party

Keep busy by finding a job at the party. Finding lots to do relieves any boredom and removes the temptation to fill your hand with a drink because you’re just standing around. Your host will be grateful for your help as well. A few good jobs would be:

  • Become the DJ and keep the music going
  • Prepare or serve food
  • Be the clean-up crew and remove the empty cups and dishes
  • Organize and supervise party games (without alcohol as a focus, of course)
  • Be the photographer for the event

Give Yourself a Pat on the Back for a Job Well Done

Be confident and congratulate yourself that you planned well and stayed sober. The first party may seem alien without alcohol, but as you stay sober and reap all the benefits of your newly found healthier life, it gets easier. You’ve proven living sober isn’t miserable and boring.2

Think about how you don’t have to worry about losing control, you can drive home sober and not worry about a DUI and how you can recall everything that went on at the party and you’ll feel good about yourself. Stay positive and don’t dwell on what other people are doing. You are making decisions based on your own unique circumstances. Be proud of your sober fun choices; they keep you safe and healthy.


  • Can Trauma Lead to Substance Abuse?

    Traumatic events can leave you feeling scared and upset. Life is not the same afterward, and you may be left feeling edgy and may have flashbacks where you re-live the trauma. This is called post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. PTSD is a mental health condition that results from someone experiencing trauma that causes long-lasting, often debilitating effects.1

    If you or a loved one suffers from the lingering effects of trauma, you are not alone. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America reports that 7.7 million people ages 18 and older currently have PTSD. The National Center for PTSD published a study that showed 7 or 8 out of every 100 people will experience PTSD at some point in their lives.2

    Trauma and Addiction

    When you are experiencing symptoms of PTSD, problems may arise with family and friends. PTSD can cause problems with trust and communication. It may affect how you act with others, as PTSD causes many to view the world and other people as dangerous and threatening. In turn, the way your loved ones respond to you will be affected. A cycle develops that can harm your closest relationships.

    Drug and alcohol abuse is another issue that can start and continue in a harmful cycle. When PTSD is left untreated, some people may turn to substance abuse as a coping mechanism to numb negative and unwanted memories and feelings. Substance abuse can lead to dependency, and it’s then a short step from drinking or taking drugs into a full-blown addiction.

    When you put PTSD and substance abuse together, there is great potential for serious physical and mental health consequences. It’s very difficult to break out of these cycles alone without professional therapy.

    Dual Diagnosis: PTSD and Addiction

    Many people begin recovery from PTSD by receiving counseling to deal with frightening memories or flashbacks. People who have trauma-related disorders alongside addictions are said to have dual diagnosis. A dual diagnosis treatment center specializes in helping trauma survivors recover from substance abuse at the same time as they receive treatment for PTSD. Because both conditions are connected, they must be treated jointly in order for therapy to be effective.

    Dual Diagnosis Treatment

    If you find yourself ill-equipped to deal with traumatic events and also have an addiction, dual diagnosis treatment will aid your recovery. A rehab center with trauma-based programs will work with you to understand and cope with the lasting effects of traumatic events, while also working with you to recover from substance abuse. All these issues need to be addressed simultaneously to effectively achieve and maintain sobriety.

    Programs that address traumatic events while exploring underlying issues can be very effective at getting problematic symptoms under control. A combination of 12-step meetings, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing and prescription medications can help you find the road to sobriety and improved mental health.

    A successful recovery can be achieved when the impact of trauma in daily life is addressed, along with repairing the relationships you have with the world and the people in it. A more joyful and sober life is the result.

    References: (1) Understanding the Facts: Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (2) How Common is PTSD?

    The Effects of Workplace Substance Abuse

    As a result of media coverage and personal experiences, many people understand that abuse of alcohol and illicit drugs are persistent issues in society. What some may not fully understand is how this abuse affects the workplace and how the workplace may affect substance abuse.

    According to a 2012 study by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, approximately 68 percent of all illicit drug users are employed full or part time. The same applies for binge and heavy alcohol drinkers.1 Many job duties involve being alert and accurate, having quick reflexes and being efficient in completing tasks. When a person is impaired, it can lead to accidents, inefficiency and reduced productivity. Absenteeism due to recovering from the effects of substance abuse and related illnesses can also be costly to businesses. In 2002, a study conducted in Canada found that substance abuse cost their economy more than $39.8 billion.2

    Employers and Substance Abuse

    Substance abuse effects that affect employers include:3

    • Employees being late or sleeping on the job
    • Theft
    • Poor decision making, problems performing duties
    • Decreased efficiency
    • Low morale of coworkers
    • High rate of turnover and increased training costs for new employees
    • Costs of disciplinary procedures and drug testing programs

    Employees and Substance Abuse

    Job-related stress may encourage some to turn to substances to cope. These include:

    • High stress
    • Low job satisfaction
    • Long hours, irregular shifts
    • Fatigue, isolation
    • Repetitive tasks
    • Periods of inactivity and boredom
    • Remote, irregular or abusive supervision

    Since 68 percent of alcohol abusers and about the same percentage of drug users are employed, the workplace is a valuable opportunity to reach out with resources to encourage people to get into recovery. Employers and employees can meet and agree on guidelines and programs that would benefit both sides.

    Workplace Programs

    One tool that can have a significant impact on abuse in the workplace is an employee assistance program (EAP). These types of programs offer counseling and assistance in connecting employees who have abuse issues with treatment programs. Also, encouraging people in recovery to work helps them maintain their sober lives. It also helps improve job performance, decreases tardiness and improves efficiency and morale.

    For these programs to be effective, drug testing, trained staff and workplace monitoring should be in place to implement this type of treatment. While it may add to overhead for the business, the benefits of increased productivity, less absenteeism, improved decision-making and lower turnover may offset the cost of an EAP.

    Changing Society Through the Workplace

    An important first step in addressing the problem of substance abuse in the workplace is the awareness that it is a common problem not just shared by families and friends, but one that also extends into employers’ and employees’ relationships.

    Once acknowledged, the resources and contacts being made between people who have the means and motivation to offer recovery aid—employers—to those who need treatment—employees—can have a profound positive impact on society at large. Both employers and employees will benefit from these changes, improving lives as well as profits.

    References: 1) (1) Drug Testing 2) (2) Substance Abuse in the Workplace 3) (3) Inoculating Your Business Against Drug/Alcohol with a Substance Abuse Prevention Program

    Peer Pressure and Drug Abuse: How Strong is the Link?

    Peer pressure from children’s friends in school can have a high impact on decisions they make. Friends play a significant role in how your child makes decisions. When your child hangs out with kids who do certain things, the tendency for your child to join in greatly increases. A study done by Columbia University found that a child is six times more likely to have an alcoholic drink if they have friends who drink1.

    In many cases, children and teens feel an intense pressure to fit in. They will behave and make decisions based on what they think their peers want them to do. If your child thinks that taking drugs or drinking alcohol will raise the respect their peers have for them, there’s a good chance she or he will try it at least once.

    Risky Behaviors

    A study done by the National Institute on Drug Abuse found that teens are more likely to act out risky behaviors if they know their friends are watching2. The behaviors included speeding and running traffic lights. During the study, teens weren’t encouraged by friends to perform risky behaviors, but did so anyway in many cases.

    The way participants calculated risk versus reward was shown to be underlying cause of these decisions. Functional magnetic resonance imaging showed that the friends’ presence heightened activity in certain areas of the brain that are responsible for predicting and determining the value of reward. The resulting social effect of this process was that the teens made risky decisions. Simply knowing that their friends were watching stimulated these regions linked with reward, so they went ahead and took risks.

    Drugs and Alcohol: Risky Behavior

    These same mechanisms come into play when a young person decides whether to take a drink or a drug. When with friends, just the mere fact that someone is watching may tip the scales into agreeing that using substances is a good idea. Unfortunately, depending on what is being taken and how much, dangerous and harmful consequences can result.

    Risky Behavior Becomes a Substance Abuse Problem

    Since drug and alcohol users like to spend time with people who share their habits, they may encourage your child to join in so they have more people to socialize with. The peer pressure that occurs in these settings, and the risky chances kids take to experiment with substances, can be the precursors to a serious and long-term addiction.

    Positive Peer Pressure in Recovery

    The nature of peer pressure can be used for good in recovery. Programs for teens and young adults use the power of peer pressure in a positive way. When a person knows their friends are watching—sober friends in recovery—it encourages sobriety.

    When young people see that their peers are leading healthier and more joyful lives, it helps increase their motivation to do the same. A recovery program that provides social functions a teen once received from fellow drug users makes the road to sobriety and healthy living easier. While peer pressure can be an issue that leads to drug abuse, it can also be used to recover from it.


    (1) Teen Abuse of Cough and Cold Medicine

    (2) Peers Increase Teen Driving Risk via Heightened Reward Activity

    Nova Recovery Center